Why Android Developers Ignore Recruiters

Android developers are in sharp demand. How much demand? Some report receiving as many as a dozen job opportunities in a given month. While you’d think recruiters would be at the top of their pitching game when talking to such popular people, Android developers say many times their approaches fall flat.

What’s a recruiter to do? Here’s what the developers say.

Do Your Homework

“If you look at my resume online, you’d see I’m really into [artificial intelligence] and data mining,” says Yeunjin Kong, an Android developer and former Google employee. “But recruiters don’t look at my resume that closely. I think they should.”

That complaint was echoed by a number of developers. Alba Perez-Cuadrado Robles, who’s been practicing her craft for over a year, says recruiters often make an approach as soon as they see the word “Android.” They don’t pay attention to anything else.

Leave Their Networks Alone

Developers also say some recruiters go so far as asking to be added to the developer’s social networks. Often, the answer is, “No.”

“I was asked by one recruiter, who said that if I wanted the job, I had to add him to my social network,” says Benjamin Weiss, an Android developer for four years. “That was so arrogant. I already had a good job and I’m good at what I do, so why should I have to add him to my network to get a job?”

Customize Your Approach

You tell job seekers to tailor their approach to each prospective employer. You have to do the same thing. Just like a recruiter, Android developers want to know what’s in it for them specifically. So a template email pitch won’t work.

“Some recruiters will use a keyword search for “Android,” and that’s as far as they go before contacting me,” says Rupender Kumar, who has been an Android developer for three years. “They should look at my resume and the work that I’ve done before they approach me.”

To make his point, Kumar noted 12 recruiters usually approach him each month with a job opening, but none of them have yet to offer a job that matches his skills.

For the record: iOS developers make similar complaints as well.

20 Responses to “Why Android Developers Ignore Recruiters”

  1. Steve in AZ

    Very interesting. I am not an Android developer. However, I get many odd emails from recruiters asking me to consider one position or another that are generally poor or very-poor matches. Maybe it picks on one minor keyword in my resume as the reason I’m being contacted. In the very top of my resume, it will say “Seeking Entry-level Position…” but 99% of the time I am asked if I want to be some Senior team lead or Senior manager or other Senior-level position….” and when I complain, I am told that my resume needs to be adjusted appropriately.

    • Engineer

      That doesn’t surprise me. And it’s probably not your resume that needs adjusting.

      Recruiters do not seem to grasp the idea that software and programming tools are used in a wide variety of technical disciplines. And they certainly don’t read your tech-heavy resume until after you make it through the buzzword scanning software.

      You can summarize your ideal position in big, bold letters on the first line of your resume. The filtering software (and the recruiter) doesn’t care what you want to do. It only cares about what you can do right now.

    • Glen Smith

      I’d say that I get 2-3 per day and am lucky to get one good match per week. All you need to do is read my resume in light of the requirements and you’d know if I matched or not. Thing is, the worst performance is usually by recruiters who are employed by the company actually doing the hiring. I suspect that is because the person is just some junior HR person just trying to hit performance metrics until he/she gets to start their own company, get promoted or find a real recruiting job.

  2. What is it that recruiters are doing to earn their money, exactly? Both as a hiring manager and as a job seeker I’ve been barraged by this scattershot approach. This is a huge waste of everyone’s time and has made the recruiting industry a laughingstock of people in the tech field– you’re delivering nothing but spam, so we will avoid you if possible. Clean up your act or become irrelevant !

    • Glen Smith

      As I’ve said, I really have little issue with the pure recruiting firms as I know who to avoid and the one’s I don’t I can usually sush out very quickly. However, when the hiring manager’s own HR department is the one who initially reached out to me, I often get interviews that were a waste of time for both me and the hiring manager (or even the team). I’ve also had issues with hiring managers who don’t even know the market they are recruiting in.

  3. Janosch

    So what is a trigger then? Beside poor research in matching between developer and position there must be some infos that attract good developers. What are the most interesting facts developers want first when scanning a job opportunity?

    – salary?
    – resposibilities?
    – size of a company?
    – or just a “fun to read offer”?

  4. GREAT article!! If you have ever read anything I have written over the years this would fall right in to my thinking. There is a difference in ALL things and Languages. Most in my profession do not take the time to find out what it is people are doing within the industry. They rely on key words that look the same like a match game or something. It frustrates me to know end. My approach is to always either know what I am talking about or let the candidate know otherwise.

  5. Jas Keel

    From my perspective, this piece could be titled Why Recruiters Give Recruiters A Bad Reputation. I consider myself a good recruiter. I do research on every position before qualifying candidates, and I take the time to learn each resume before looking for the “best” candidate. Sometimes I miss the mark a bit, but if I was proficient in the skillset I would be the one BEING recruited. I hear horror stories every day from candidates on this very topic and other recruiter related travesties, and usually apologize on behalf of my profession. I hope the preponderance of lackluster recruiters doesn’t dissuade candidates from talking to the few that take pride in their position.

  6. The roles of recruiters and agencies will decrease, but not disappear altogether. Some businesses will do their own filtering through their own HR departments and through their own algorithms. Personal networking will continue to be of import, especially as it affects recommendations and electronic communications to make other connnections.

  7. Will DeSiervo

    Very valid, frustrated concerns. The unfortunate truth is recruiting can be and frequently is a entry level position in which baby recruiters have the awful responsibility of cold calling technical individuals with little or no training on how to communicate and understand (from a 5,000 ft view) the technology involved in a project. These baby recruiters also have to make a many, many more calls than experience recruiters just so they can get someone to talk to them and eventually represent them. More experienced recruiters make far fewer cold calls and rely on networking to find talented people.

    Recruiting is sales in any way that you look at it. We are cold calling to sell you a job. Just like at a mall/car lot/Best Buy/etc. there are green sales people that will have no idea what you want and shove something down your throat. There are also experienced sales people that can listen, understand what you want and present you with a product in tune with the consumers explicit needs that virtually sells itself. Of course like consumer-good sales professionals, the transaction can be done without a salesperson or recruiter, but if you’ve worked with a good salesperson or recruiter you can see the value added.

    • Glen Smith

      But when you find that recruiter who is a good sales professional, you are going to put hm/her in charge of working with demand (the companies looking to hire) and not supply (the people looking for jobs). By definition, supply always exceeds or equals demand in the long term.

  8. Come on people!!! Most of this has to do with recruiter high turnover, low wages, and age discrimination. Look at the resumes or social media profiles of most of these recruiters and it’s clear why good, experienced recruiters are hard to come by. What’s really sad is hearing about recruiters with loads of experience being let go because they’re too old and costly to the company!

    And I’ve certainly had my fill of recruiters misspelling or mispronouncing tech acronyms or buzz words! Very common!!!

  9. Floyd Thursby

    I think it goes both ways, as a recruiter with 19 years’ experience, there are some recruiters who waste candidates’ time or call about the wrong jobs. However, there are candidates who do a lot of bad things too, some don’t have phone numbers on their resumes, some don’t check and return voicemails on a daily basis, more like a weekly basis, so recruiters have to guess when they’ll answer. I’ve had to adjust my schedule and work till 9 PM so that I can speak with candidates as many won’t return calls unless you call after 7. I don’t think email works, you can’t qualify a candidate that way, you need to know how they present themselves on the phone, and if you try to do it by email a client wants to interview and you find out the candidate had a fake address or is in another state or country. Recruiters should make sure the job is a fit, but I’ve had great fits for candidates and had to leave 10 voicemails and send 3 emails before I finally reach them live, and a couple I never reached live. Not every recruiter prepares, but some candidates don’t check and return calls even though their voicemail promises too, respond to emails in an incomplete manner, don’t bother to go and update the record that they’re off the market once they find a job, and interrupt the interview process with too many questions before the recruiter has the information they need. Remember, it’s a free service to candidates as the fees are paid for by clients, so when providing a free service, recruiters should be able to expect a more diligent effort to cooperate by the candidates.

    • Steve in AZ

      Floyd, I’ve had to become very defensive concerning my contact information in recent years since I graduated from school. I amassed a great deal of debt when I attended school, no jobs of any kind were forthcoming, and I’ve gotten down to not having any resources left or have any recourse other than to go into default with several creditors. Since the creditors have also been tracking my personal information from resumes I post, I absolutely will not put more than an email address on a publicly-viewable resume. All telephone calls get screened, and everyone gets my ansering machine with it’s default non-personalized message on it. 90% of the time, the caller never leaves a message. Last week, I had an Insight office that was over 250 miles away telelphone and request I come into their office because they had a match for me. After checking the background about Insight, I chose not to return the long-distance call. I’m not making excuses: I am just saying that sometimes there are legitimate reasons for the way things are, and the blatantly false/spoofed caller-ID information that is currently more the rule than the exception has made me suspicious of all telephone calls.

    • I think an initial email is better. Remember that a phone number may be a cell phone number and some of us get around a bit. You may think you’re calling someone in California, but they may be somewhere where it’s 2 in the morning. This has happened to me a number of times.

  10. I have gone to special lengths to present my ambitions at the top of my resume. Yet recruiters still contact me for jobs I have no interest in. Plus, many of the recruiters are calling me from India??? They are mostly wasting my valuable time and it gets real annoying sometimes. Why don’t they read the resume? I know why; because mine is only one in a list of hundreds. I miss the personal interactions of the 90s when you got to know recruiters and sometimes met and drank with them. OMG! I sound like my father. Yikes!

  11. In regards to not completely qualifying resumes…I don’t have time for that, if I think your close I’m going to call you and find out, it takes 30 seconds to find out if someone is qualified for the job, rather than spending time googling keywords, and then finally calling, and not getting a call back ever.

    OH! and for all the candidates who enjoy sending hate emails, for every 10 that do send nasty emails back, there’s always 1 that wants the job, and that’s all you need.

  12. Many of these comments come from people who are obviously on the market. However, are not working and are “not getting the right interviews!” That’s right, its all the recruiters fault you didn’t get the job! LOL keep telling yourself that.

    • Steve in AZ

      Well, Meg, why don’t you part with some of that knowledge you have about your strategies for getting a job, and tell us some of your success stories so that we can all learn?

      I’ve been looking since 2006. Actually, I’ve been LOOKING since 1994….when I gave up completely on the electronics industry in the country, and at the urging of my family I went back to college, obtained a new degree (B.S. in Computer Science in August 2001), Saw the towers in New York come down on the monitors they had placed around the room at the job-fair I went to that day….where over half of the vendors failed to show up….spent several months not finding any work what-so-ever, and finally enrolling into grad-school the following year, then obtaining my M.S. in Computer Science in 2006, and now all I get told is that I’m too old, and that being a US Citizen is a disadvantage, and that not having brown skin is a disadvantage, and that I can’t even get food stamps or unemployment insurance or medicaid, and I’m about to start selling #2 pencils from the street-corner so i don’t have to drink raw water from the curb. I can just be thankful that I still have some limited internet access from the local library, becuase when you walk into the nearby drugstore, or hardware store, or office supply store, or your favorite fast-food place and ask about a job, the store manager, when asked if he has any openings, says “duh, I don’t know. You’ll have to check with the corp web site”.

      • Plinko

        Brother, you won’t get a job in fast food if you put down that you have a college degree. Experience talking here. I tried it during a slump thinking I would walk to work and save money since I wouldn’t be getting paid much so I applied at every restaurant around me.

        Only one had the guts to tell me what I needed to know. Her words to me were to this effect, I can’t justify hiring you because with a degree I know you will leave when your a job in your field comes along. I couldn’t disagree with her after she had been honest with me and I stayed unemployed.

        That’s the tricky part about education is that it can hinder you when you try to get something to keep you out of the welfare ranks and stay productive.